GIRL CRAZY (1943) B/W 97m dir: Norman Taurog
w/Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Gil Stratton, Robert Strickland, Rags Ragland, Henry O'Neill, June Allyson, Nancy Walker, Guy Kibbee, Tommy Dorsey and His Band, Frances Rafferty
From The Movie Guide: "Irresistible entertainment, based on the play by Guy Bolton and Jack McGowan, with music by George and Ira Gershwin. Rooney stars as Danny Churchill, Jr., the rich son of a newspaper publisher (Henry O'Neill). He's sent to an all-boys mining school where wake-up time is 6 a.m., which is usually the hour he goes to sleep. Stuck out in the desert, Danny finds it hard to exercise his girl-craziness, until he meets Ginger Gray (Garland, looking quite delectable), the granddaughter of the school's dean (Guy Kibbee). Although Danny originally hates the school, his love for Ginger eventually prompts him to help save the financially imperiled institution with a musical rodeo.
"The musical was originally to be directed by Busby Berkeley, but he and MGM musical maven Roger Edens didn't get along. And Garland's loathing of him was monumental; it stands to reason his power would be compromised as she ascended to queen of the MGM lot. But since Girl Crazy had been a big hit for Ethel Merman on Broadway, Berkeley was brought in to stage Garland's white-buckskinned finale of 'I Got Rhythm,' Merman's big hit. The rest of the musical work went to Charles Walters. Other songs included are 'Embraceable You,' 'Fascinating Rhythm' and the sadly beautiful 'But Not for Me,' all by the Gershwins, and Edens's 'Happy Birthday, Ginger.'"